Legendary rock band The Go-Go's have had a career full of big hits and exciting tours, all while paving the way for bands that would follow. Now, the band has teamed up with the Frito-Lay and Netflix for the Stranger Things Doritos Music Fest '86. The story goes that back in 1986, The Go-Go's bus crashed near Hawkins, Indiana and they disappeared into another dimension, which Stranger Things fans will know as the Upside Down. Now, the band is back from the otherworldly zone and they've brought along some friends, including fellow '80s musicians Corey Hart and Soft Cell, and modern pop star Charli XCX.
During a recent exclusive PopCulture.com interview with the band, the ladies shared their excitement about the big concert event, which they previously filmed. "We had such a good time doing this, that we can't wait for everyone to see it," said lead guitarist Charlotte Caffey. "It was really an extraordinary day and we got to do all sorts of things that we haven't done in a long time. Acting, and maybe someone else has done in the meantime, but it's been a while for me. And just being in the Upside Down, the stage, it was so exciting and it felt so good. It just made us feel like that was... We were there."
It’s time for the greatest concert that never happened…to happen. #StrangerThings4 and #Doritos present, #LiveFromTheUpsideDown. Grab a Doritos bag, open the portal, and enjoy the show. pic.twitter.com/JUbty5QEyu— Doritos (@Doritos) May 10, 2022
Drummer Gina Schock added, "We had a great time playing. There were many obstacles we had to overcome while we were playing, being attacked by creatures. But we are troopers and we made it through, we finished both songs and I think the end result's going to be really cool because we had a good time and I think that'll come across in being filmed." She later confessed that the band was big fans of Doritos Cool Ranch chips "way back" in their earlier days together. As for other favorite Doritos flavors, the band named dropped the classic Nacho Cheese and the soon-to-be-released limited-time flavor: Doritos 3D Crunch Three Cheese.
In between snacking on delicious Doritos chips, The Go-Go's managed to build an iconic career of several number one hit songs, a multi-platinum-selling debut album, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As for what has given the band its longevity, singer Belinda Carlisle explained that the "great songs" they wrote and performed are what carried them this far. "Bottom line is they're great, just great pop songs and I think the eighties is probably the last great sort of definitive sound, in music."
She continued, "Maybe the nineties, a little bit with grunge, but there was some great music back then and people love that era for whatever reason. But, and I think the reason is actually the music is so good. So I know when we have one of our songs covered, it's, we are always, humbled by it. It's an amazing thing to have young bands cover your material."
Part of the band's legacy, it could be argued, is how crucial their sound was to the eventual explosion of pop-punk music, which wouldn't come until the mid-late '90s. Much of what the Go-Go's were doing in the early and mid-'80s were fun, upbeat song with driving drum parts and bubbly sing-along vocals that went mainstream and received massive radio airplay. When asked how she felt about the notion that The Go-Go's laid groundwork for bands like Simple Plan and Blink-182, Caffey explained, "We were writing these pop songs and when we were playing them on stage, we were completely raw and punk and so that married the two and yes, I think that there was that little seed that started to flourish. And other bands were doing it too, like the Ramones, [but] yes, I think it came from that time."
Regarding how her drumming style played a role in the band's pop-punk elements, Schock added, "Well, you know what, honestly, my approach and with all the Go-Go songs has always been, what can I do as a drummer to elevate this song? To make it, to really show this song off? Because I've never approached my drumming like, 'Oh, how many fills can I put in." It was always about the song and that would give me ideas to take the song wherever I took it, playing drums."
She also praised the band's "wonderful chemistry that we have when we're all in the room together," further adding how "you feed off of each other... ideas are sparking and people, it's just great to be in a band with four other people where we're communicating about, what we love about the song, what we don't like, how we'd like to change this. And we were always staying really open. I mean, there'd be little arguments here and there, but ultimately we'd come up with a song we all were comfortable with and loved the outcome. And as far as my drumming goes, it was always just about the song."
Finally, Shock referenced one of The Go-Go's biggest songs, "We Got the Beat," explaining "That drum part when she brought in, when Charlotte brought in the chords and the melody, the beat just happened. It's something that pours out of you, I don't know." She concluded, "I'm just a musician and you get inspired by what you hear. I've been fortunate enough to be in a band that has been very instrumental in me becoming a better musician and having a great life."
The big "Live from the Upside Down" event kicks off on June 23rd. In addition to the epic performances, viewers will also have access to 1980s-inspired concert merch like t-shirts, hats, bags, and posters. Fans can get access to the epic Doritos Music Fest '86 concert, by clicking on this Snacks.com link. Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for more coverage in the near future!